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What Is the Neighborhood Matching Fund?
Seattle's uniqueness and quality of life is tied to strong neighborhoods and active residents. The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) program was created in 1988 to provide neighborhood groups with City resources for community-driven projects that enhance and strengthen their own neighborhoods. All projects are initiated, planned and implemented by community members in partnership with the City. Every award is matched by neighborhoods’ or communities’ resources of volunteer labor, donated materials, donated professional services or cash. This community match is at the heart of the NMF Program.
A part of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, NMF promotes collaboration between the City and the community. Community building is core to project success: the process of bringing people together and building relationships is as important as project results.
Since 1988, the Fund has awarded more than $45 million to more than 3,800 projects throughout Seattle, generated an additional $68 million of community match, and engaged more than 80,000 volunteers who have donated over 560,000 hours.
There are four funds within the Neighborhood Matching Fund Program:
Small and Simple Projects Fund provides awards of $15,000 or less. Applications are accepted twice each year and funds become available about two months after an application is submitted. A project must be completed within a 12-month timeframe.
Tree Fund applications are accepted in late summer and awards are confirmed shortly thereafter, so that trees can be planted in the Fall. Cash awards are not made. Instead, groups receive street trees (selected from a menu) and provide "match" by planting the trees in designated locations on the block.
Neighborhood Outreach and Development Fund (awards of $750 or less) and Small Sparks ($250) awards are made for projects that involve new people in neighborhood organizations or activities. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Neighborhood groups don't have to figure out the Neighborhood Matching Fund on their own. In fact, staff members prefer to work with groups at the very start of a project - when ideas are being discussed.